Another Monday, another MilitiaWatch weekly. This week, we feature some of the following news events:
- Member of racist prison gang pleads guilty to J6 charges
- SC cop moved to admin duty over III% sticker on vehicle
- CA militiamen charged for plotting to blow up Democrats
- Nick Fuentes and others show up at CPAC, cringe ensues
More J6 updates
Michael Curzio, from Florida, is one of the most recent to plead guilty to charges related to J6. He also was in a racist gang while he was in prison previously, during which he served an 8-year sentence for attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend.
Mark Ponder, of the DC area, rejected a plea offer regarding his dozen charges related to J6. He was indicted in March and the feds say he used a metal pole to bash Capitol police. He was initially detained by police on the day of the event but released as the police redeployed to attempt to manage the rioting crowd.
Police-militia overlap updates
At the end of June, an oversight body released a report encouraging the Solano County police to investigate their organization for extremism. This runs counter to a shoddy FBI investigation that the county’s law enforcement previously pointed towards. All of this is largely in response to a story that originates from Scott Morris’ work for Open Vallejo in February of this year. (The development of this story has been covered on a Weekly on 15 February, 19 April, and 7 June so far.)
In Columbia, South Carolina, a cop with a III% sticker on his car was just put on administrative duty. The sticker was seen on 7 July by a passerby who sent the image to the chief of police. Notably (and as reported in MW weekly updates on 12 and 19 April), there were at least two armed assaults of interracial couples in Columbia, SC by men driving vehicles with III% stickers this spring. Both assaults happened within about a month of each other, starting in late March. There is still no indication that the perpetrators have been caught.
Other legal updates
Two Northern California militiamen, Ian Benjamin Rogers and Jarrod Copeland, were just charged with federal crimes for allegedly planning to attack the Democratic Party’s headquarters in Sacramento. The two men began plotting this and other attacks after Trump lost the 2020 election and apparently reached out to militia groups for support. Like many other plotters before them, the Feds allege that these men hoped their attacks would kick off a broader violent movement to overthrow the government. Rogers’ home and business were searched after his initial arrest on 15 January, leading to the discovery of about 50 firearms and five pipe bombs.
Bodycam footage from the police standoff with armed members of the Rise of Moors group was released this past week as part of the members’ trials in Massachusetts. 6 members of the organization will be held without bail.
Sgt. Daniel Perry, a soldier from Texas, was indicted this past week with a murder charge for his involvement in the shooting death of Garrett Foster on 25 July 2020. The soldier shot and killed the armed demonstrator at a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Austin after Perry drove his car into a crowd.
This year’s conservative convention was covered in last week’s update, but more writing on the day has surfaced that’s worth mentioning. The speakers and attendees ran the broad gamut of the right-wing political party’s ideology, from California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner to Oath Keepers leader and J6 participant Stewart Rhodes. Trump, speaking during the convention, used the opportunity to spread more mistruths about the election he lost but has yet to concede. Stewart Rhodes, who was spotted at CPAC, said last weekend that some of Trump’s flaws were that he “didn’t understand the Constitution enough” (this, of course, sets the former president and the conspiracy-driven militia leader apart in a meaningful way).
Nick Fuentes, the often-cringe White Nationalist youth organizer who is friends with Republican Representative Paul Gosar, was barred from entering CPAC and also (unrelatedly) banned from Twitter last week. Fuentes and his crew attempted to enter CPAC chanting “Groyper”, the iteration of meme frog character Pepe intended to be a rightward reclamation of the contested meme and a movement that Fuentes has claimed to have taken over (despite pushback from other Groyper content creators online). Proud Boys, Q adherents, and multiple J6 attendees all openly showed at CPAC.
- On the networks neo-Confederates used to try to save their monuments (Guardian)
- On far-right exploitation of the border crisis (SPLC)
- On the battle between sunglasses and the far-right (Daily Beast)